Students advocate for a clean environment by volunteering to pick up trash

April 04, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students are advocating for clean air and a clean environment by volunteering to pick up trash and cigarette butts across campus in honor of Earth Week. The tobacco and trash clean up will take place on Wednesday, April 13.

Students from HealthWorks, a peer health education program in University Health Services, and members of the Association of Residence Hall Students (ARHS) are collaborating on the initiative. The groups will work together to remove all cigarette butts and any pieces of trash to demonstrate their concern for environmental health and the importance of not littering. The students will have an educational display at the HUB-Robeson Center’s Pollock Road entrance on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. The display will highlight the environmental impact of littering, the importance of sustainability, and the connection between human health and the health of the environment. 

Biology student Kyle Houser, who is leading the effort, has a passion for caring for the environment. Kyle is a member of HealthWorks and is the leader of the Green Health team.

“I think sometimes we as humans can make the mistake of taking our surroundings for granted," Houser said. "It’s important to consider how our decisions impact the environment, not only to preserve it for future generations, but also because a clean environment is fundamental to living a healthy life.”

Staff in the Office of Physical Plant (OPP) do an excellent job of keeping the University Park campus beautiful and clean. Cigarette butts, however, are a common form of litter and are often stuck in cracks and crevices that make it nearly impossible for OPP to remove. Teams of three student volunteers will walk every inch of campus and remove, by hand, any type of litter. Their efforts are designed to support and complement the work of OPP.

Last Updated June 18, 2021